Monthly Archives: September 2006


Chicken Burritos

Serves 4

4 large flour tortillas
1 cup refried black beans, warmed
2 cups shredded leftover Chipotle Glazed Chicken (see recipe), warmed
2 tablespoons crema, crème fraiche, or sour cream
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup salsa fresca
2 small bunches watercress, trimmed
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Warm the tortillas in a dry pan then lay out on a counter. Spread each with a strip of warm black beans down the center. Top with the warmed chicken, crema, creme fraiche, or sour cream, avocado, and salsa fresca.

Lightly toss the watercress with the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and place over the chicken. Fold the bottom quarter of each tortilla up and then roll from the side into a cylinder.


Chipotle Glazed Chicken

Serves 4 to 6, with leftovers

2 roasting chickens (about 3 pounds each)
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons paprika
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup honey
1 1/3 cups red wine vinegar
6 canned chipotle chiles
1 bunch parsley leaves, coarsely chopped, for garnish

Rinse the chickens, remove any excess fat, and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, 6 tablespoons vinegar, and olive oil. Rub the mixture all over the chickens, including the cavities. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate, at room temperature, for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

To make the glaze, combine the orange juice, honey, 1 1/3 cups vinegar, and chiles in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain, pushing the chiles through a sieve, and reserve.

Unwrap the marinated chickens and place in roasting pans. Roast for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F and continue roasting for another 45 minutes. Then begin brushing glaze generously all over the chickens every 5 minutes until done, about another 20 minutes. When a leg can be loosely twisted, the chickens are done. Sprinkle with parsley, let rest 10 minutes, and serve.


Cracking Corn

Harvest time means a bounty of fresh, sweet corn. One of the most versatile and widely used crops in the world, corn can still be a mystery when it comes to finding some that actually does taste fresh and sweet. So lend us an ear as we peel back the husks and reveal the secrets of corn.

How to Choose
Freshness is everything! Within 24 hours of being picked, almost 50% of the sugars in sweet corn have been converted to starch. Keeping corn cold is the best way to slow down the sugar to starch conversion, so avoid corn that is piled high in unrefrigerated bins. At the grocery store, or better yet, the farmers’ market, look for refrigerated or iced corn with husks that are moist, bright green, and tight. Be sure to pull back the husks slightly and check for plump kernels that release a cloudy liquid when pressed with your fingernail. If the corn is overripe, the kernels will be tough and doughy.

Plain and simple, sweet corn is best eaten the same day it is purchased. If you must buy ahead, parboil the corn for a minute or two in unsalted water (salt toughens corn), then refrigerate for up to three days before finishing the cooking process.

Types of Corn
Flint corn, also known as Indian corn, comes in a wide range of colors from white to red and has a hard outer shell and firm kernels. Popcorn is a type of flint corn. When it’s heated, the moisture inside turns to steam and the pressure created causes the popcorn to explode, turning the fluffy, white starch inside out.

Flour corn is primarily white, but does come in other colors such as blue. Flour corn has a soft, starch-filled kernel that’s easy to grind and is mainly used for baked goods.

Sweet corn is commonly sold at grocery stores and is eaten freshly cooked, frozen, or canned. It is specifically bred to increase sugar content and contains anywhere from 8% to 24% sugar, compared to 4% in other types of corn. It comes in 3 varieties: yellow, white, and bicolor (yellow and white). Baby corn is a tiny ear of sweet corn, picked very young while the cob is still soft, and eaten whole. Corn nuts are made from sweet corn that’s been left to dry on the plant and then fried in oil, causing kernels to expand to double their original size.

Time to Eat
With the secrets of corn revealed, it’s time to savor its wonderful flavor in some of Mary Sue and Susan’s favorite fresh corn recipes.

Corn and Zucchini Fritters
Grilled Mexican Corn on the Cob (Elote)
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Cayenne and Lime
Avocado Corn Relish
Spicy Corn Muffins with Green Chiles


Chicken and Grilled Vegetable Tostada Salad

Serves 4 as an entree, 8 as an appetizer

2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 small eggplant
2 zucchini or summer squash
2 red bell peppers
1/2 pound shredded leftover Chipotle Glazed Chicken (see recipe)
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
8 to 10 romaine lettuce leaves, cut into thin strips
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
3/4 cup grated añejo, Romano, or Parmesan cheese
Vegetable or canola oil for frying
8 large corn tortillas
1 cup refried black beans, warmed
3 tablespoons crema, crème fraiche, or sour cream
2 avocados, thinly sliced

Preheat grill or grill pan.

Mix vinaigrette ingredients together in a small bottle and shake vigorously. Slice eggplant, zucchini or squash, and peppers into thin slices for grilling. Season the vegetables all over with a light coating of the vinaigrette, reserving excess vinaigrette for later use. Grill the vegetable slices 2 to 4 minutes per side. Place in a bowl and toss with the shredded chicken, red onion, and cilantro.

In another bowl, combine the shredded lettuce, tomato, and half the cheese. Toss with enough of the remaining vinaigrette to season well.

Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a small pan for frying. Fry the corn tortillas on both sides until crisp and drain on paper towels.

Meanwhile, heat the beans in a small pot.

To assemble, spread a thin layer of beans on each crisp tortilla. Top with about 1 teaspoon crema, crème fraiche, or sour cream and a few avocado slices. Divide chicken and grilled vegetable mixture among the tortillas. Top with a mound of the lettuce mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

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